Explanatory research aims to explain and explore a well-defined particular problem comprehensively. As a PhD learner, you do research on your target market, make testable hypotheses, and ask questions. In other words, it is a technique used to examine a phenomenon that has not previously been studied or adequately explained. It is a process that tries to figure out what might work as a solution to the problem.
The Goal of Explanatory Research
It aims to provide a “How” answer, and it is typically carried out by PhD learners for their dissertation to comprehend why something functions in a certain way or why a certain event occurs in a certain way.
Researchers can explain why and how something occurs by employing the method of explanatory research. In other words, by giving the proper context, it can be used to “explain” something. Typically, surveys and interviews are used to accomplish this.
Doctoral or PhD Dissertation
A PhD dissertation is a lengthy academic work that is based on the PhD learner’s original research. It is typically turned in as the last step to completing a PhD program. The PhD dissertation is arguably the longest piece of explanatory writing ever produced. This is why, it requires best PhD dissertation help from experts.
The Importance of Explanatory Research in Doctoral / PhD Dissertations
Explanatory research aids researchers’ understanding of a topic, but it does not assist them in making future predictions. Understanding a certain phenomenon is the primary objective of explanatory research. It, either basic or applied, can be used to accomplish this.
Pure or fundamental research, commonly referred to as basic explanatory research, is carried out without any particular real-world application in mind. The goal of applied research is to provide new knowledge that can be applied to improve people’s daily lives.
For instance, you might be interested in learning why consumers choose particular items, why businesses alter their operational procedures, or what drives employees at work. An explanatory study starts with a theory or hypothesis and then gathers data to prove or disprove the idea.
The majority of explanatory research employs surveys to collect data from a group of respondents. Following that, the findings will reveal details on the target demographic as a whole. It is important in PhD due to its multiple unique qualities. Some of them are discussed below:
Motives of Explanatory Research
The purpose of an explanatory study is to investigate a subject in greater detail and gain a deeper grasp of it in order to better describe or explain it. When the researcher starts the project, he or she has a specific question or hypothesis in mind. This will guide the gathering of data through surveys and the analysis of the gathered data. The foremost purpose of explanatory research is to figure out why something happens, not to find out something new or solve a problem.
Explanatory Research: What Does It Look Like?
The explanatory study seeks to explain something that has already occurred, but it does not attempt to control or forecast future events. Instead, it seeks to comprehend what has occurred in relation to particular phenomena. Some of the traits of explanatory research include the following:
- It is employed when a researcher has to explain the connection between two uncontrollable variables. This means that the researcher must instead use secondary data to understand the variables.
- In explanatory research, the data is gathered prior to the study and is typically gathered by an entity other than the researcher.
- Random selection or allocations are not used in explanatory research.
The Subject of Explanatory Research
The “why” questions are typically the subject of explanatory research. A business owner can, for example, ask customers why they aren’t buying their products or how they can improve the sales process.
Forms of Explanatory Research
It can take many different forms, such as experimental studies where researchers manipulate factors to test a hypothesis or interviews and surveys where the perspectives of participants on their experiences are gathered. Some of them which surely may help a researcher are as under:
Case Studies: Case studies let researchers examine businesses that went through similar circumstances to their own. This enables them to comprehend what was successful and unsuccessful for the competing businesses.
Reading and analyzing previously published academic works on a subject relevant to your projects, such as a specific method or strategy, constitutes literature research. By conducting literature searches, researchers can examine how other individuals have approached and come to conclusions about a certain issue.
- Observations: Observations involve observing events without interfering with them in order to gather information. They are helpful for learning about social interactions, such as who converses with whom on a subway platform or how people respond to specific advertisements in public places like bus stops and billboards.
- Pilot Studies: In smaller versions of larger studies, pilot studies help researchers get ready for larger studies by evaluating techniques, procedures, or tools before incorporating them into the final study design.
- Focus Groups: Focus groups bring people together so that they can share opinions rather than provide answers to questions.
Quoting Examples in Explanatory Research
By using examples drawn from real-world problems, it makes it simpler for the researcher and the reader of the dissertation to find explanations for things that are otherwise challenging to understand. It provides answers to the what-and-why-it-happened inquiries through examples.
Additional Benefits of Explanatory Research
Following are some of the benefits of explanatory research:
- It describes how something occurred.
- It helps recognize the cause of the event.
- Also, it works well for making future predictions based on current observations.
- It provides a fantastic place to start research for researchers who are not familiar with the subject.
The purpose that explanatory research serves in a PhD dissertation is to take a subject and thoroughly explain it so that the readers of the dissertation are more informed about the subject at hand. After reading the entire article, you could wish to use explanatory research for your dissertation, if you are a PhD learner and researcher as well.